UPDATE -- update rows of a table


UPDATE [ ONLY ]  table SET  col =  expression [, ...]
    [ FROM  fromlist ]
    [ WHERE  condition ]



The name (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table. If ONLY is specified, only that table is updated. If ONLY is not specified, the table and all its descendant tables (if any) are updated. * can be appended to the table name to indicate that descendant tables are to be scanned, but in the current version, this is the default behavior. (In releases before 7.1, ONLY was the default behavior.) The default can be altered by changing the SQL_INHERITANCE configuration option.


The name of a column in table.


A valid expression or value to assign to column.


A PostgreSQL non-standard extension to allow columns from other tables to appear in the WHERE condition.


Refer to the SELECT statement for a further description of the WHERE clause.



Message returned if successful. The # means the number of rows updated. If # is 0 no rows are updated.


UPDATE changes the values of the columns specified for all rows which satisfy condition. Only the columns to be modified need appear as columns in the statement.

Array references use the same syntax found in SELECT. That is, either single array elements, a range of array elements or the entire array may be replaced with a single query.

You must have write access to the table in order to modify it, as well as read access to any table whose values are mentioned in the WHERE condition.

By default UPDATE will update tuples in the table specified and all its sub-tables. If you wish to only update the specific table mentioned, you should use the ONLY clause.


Change word Drama with Dramatic on column kind:

UPDATE films 
SET kind = 'Dramatic' 
WHERE kind = 'Drama';
FROM films 
WHERE kind = 'Dramatic' OR kind = 'Drama';

 code  |     title     | did | date_prod  |   kind   | len
 BL101 | The Third Man | 101 | 1949-12-23 | Dramatic | 01:44
 P_302 | Becket        | 103 | 1964-02-03 | Dramatic | 02:28
 M_401 | War and Peace | 104 | 1967-02-12 | Dramatic | 05:57
 T_601 | Yojimbo       | 106 | 1961-06-16 | Dramatic | 01:50
 DA101 | Das Boot      | 110 | 1981-11-11 | Dramatic | 02:29



SQL92 defines a different syntax for the positioned UPDATE statement:

UPDATE  table SET  column =  expression [, ...]
    WHERE CURRENT OF  cursor

where cursor identifies an open cursor.

This file was copied from PostgreSQL 7.3.1 help system.